The death of a pet can hurt as much as a that of a relative

” I am no stranger to death.” described Joe. His father died due to a stroke and not long after his sister passed on due to cancer. However, the death of “his dog seems even harder.”

Some would be in doubt of their feelings, how could the death of a canine possibly hurt as much as that of a family member?

However it is proven by researches that the animal-human bond is strong. Some pet owners even feel shameful that they are grieving more for their pets than for a sibling or parents.

“But when they realize that the difference is the pet gave them constant companionship, and there was total dependency, then they start to realize that is the reason behind grieving so intensely,” Sandra Barker, director of the Center for Human-Animal interaction.

Even the span with a dog can only last from 13 – 15 years, it is the daily interactions. Every morning them greeting you, when you put on your shoes they would sit beside you, take him out for walks, such interaction actually happened countless times. Hence it make sense that when they are gone. such activities and gestures disappear to, with emptiness being in replaced.

With relatives, even your own family members, there bound to be countless disputes and conflicts over various reasons, but the relationship with a pet dog is way simpler; their love and support seems to have no strings attached.

More than just a dog

Thankfully, many of my closest friends, family members and co-workers have been wonderfully sympathetic, and for that I’m grateful. Others have seemed reluctant to talk about my grief, and I suspect that it’s because they’re trying to stay in denial about the prospect of losing their own animal or trying not to remember the death of a previous one. My least-favorite reaction comes from those who are aiming to be supportive but regularly ask me when I’m going to adopt another dog, a reaction that seems tantamount to saying, “Get over it already. He was just a dog. Isn’t one as good as another?”

That can lead to what psychologists refer to as disenfranchised grief.

“Simply stated, many people (including pet owners) feel that grief over the death of a pet is not worthy of as much acknowledgment as the death of a person,” researchers wrote in a 2003 article in the journal Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. “Unfortunately, this tends to inhibit people from grieving fully when a pet dies.”


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